Approximate Man-Hours Spent on this Project: 

We delivered at least 500 kilos of humanitarian aid & children’s Christmas presents to more than 400 needy refugees in the area of Karlovac (near the Bosnian border in Croatia), and to needy families in the area of Rijeka. At the same time of visiting these needy families, we spent time counseling and comforting them during these trying times in their lives.

We also raised 1000 euro to donate to two needy associations in Rijeka – The Association Aiding Individuals with Mental Retardation “Klub Srce”, and The Association for Creative Development of Children and Adolescents “Koraci”.

We co-worked with other organizations, including “Caritas” and other local associations.

We received 3 letters of thanks for our help and contributions from the following institutions: Dom za djecu “Ivana Brlic Mazuranic” – Lovran, Croatia (local orphanage), Muslim charitable society “Merhamet – the Red Crescent”, and the Association Aiding Individuals with Mental Retardation “Klub Srce” in Rijeka.

Our project was featured in local newspaper “Novi list”, February 10th 2005, reaching an estimated audience of 30 000, and 2 times in “La voce del’ popolo” – February 10th 2005 and June 21st 2005, both times reachiing an estimated audience of 3000.

We have been visiting Karlovac and its surroundings (a needy refugee area affected by the war in former Yugoslavia), since 1998. During this year we continued to visit and offer comfort and counseling, as well as humanitarian aid whenever possible to families we’re in contact with, as well as other newer acquaintances. We regularly visit 2 schools in particular (one of them with approximately 170 students, and the other 300, mostly refugee children), and 1 refugee camp (of approximately all-year-round 400 inhabitants). At Christmas time, with the organizational help of Marina Vladic (a friend from Rijeka), we delivered Christmas presents to 450 children at the elementary schools of Vojnic and Krnjak.

This February we also received a donation from an Italian association CSI (Verona), 1000 euro of which we distributed to two needy associations that we cooperate with here in Rijeka (names mentioned above).

Club Srce, Rijeka

Karlovac refugee camp

Vojnić school

Distribution of wheelchairs, aides for the handicapped, and computers to needy institutions associations

Project Duration: February 2005

Approximate Man-Hours Spent on this Project: 60

We delivered 10 computers donated by Autogerma (Verona, Italy) to needy institutions in Rijeka and the area. We also distributed 40 wheelchairs and other aides for handicapped people in February this year. The wheelchairs and equipment were provided by the Italian “Gruppo Container” – Verona.

We co-worked with other organizations, including “Caritas” – Rijeka, and “Gruppo Container” – Verona, Italy.

We received 4 letters of thanks for our help and contributions from the following organizations: Drustvo oboljelih od Miastenije Gravis – Rijeka (Association for Individuals Suffering from Miastenia Gravis), Drustvo tjelesnih invalida grada Rijeke (Association for Handicapped Individuals – Rijeka, Drustvo Multiple Skleroze Hrvatske (Association for Individuals Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis – Croatia), Udruga osoba s cerebralnom i djecjom paralizom – Rijeka (Association for Individuals Suffering from Cerebral Palsy/Infantile paralysis).

We find ourselves at a crossroads of two countries – Italy, a first world country, and Croatia, a country in a period of transition, still suffering the consequences of war and economic crisis. Many Italian companies and individuals have more than sufficient material goods for themselves and their families, and are conscious of the need in other countries. So far we have organized numerous such distributions of goods, where Italian companies have donated to us, and we in turn have distributed the materials, aided by our knowledge of needy locations.

“Gruppo container”, for example, is a club of retired men in Verona, Italy, who after their working career was over did not settle down to a passive life, but instead dedicated their spare time to repairing older wheelchairs and aides for the handicapped, and transporting them across the border to less-developed countries. This project gives meaning to the lives of these older people through the knowledge that they too can make a big difference in others’ lives. When we met them in 2003, the members of “Gruppo container” were overjoyed to find a group of people who could complete the humanitarian circle by finding places and distributing what they were producing to the handicapped and needy in Croatia.

“Coloring the World”

Project Duration: June 24-26th, July 5-7th

Approximate Man-Hours Spent on this Project: 240

We painted 2 wall murals on the theme of love and peace, featuring the poster “What everybody needs is love” in cooperation with local young people – one mural was completed in Gardone val Trompia (Brescia, Italy), and another in Rijeka, Croatia, respectively in June and July.

Our project was featured in local newspaper “La voce del’ popolo”, 13 July 2005, reaching an estimated audience of 3000.

We painted two more poster-murals «What everybody needs is love» during the summer months of June and July – one in the center of Rijeka & the other in Gardone val Trompia (Italy). Mural nr. 6 (in order of all we have completed so far) was painted in Gardone val Trompia (BS, Italy) on the opposite side of the «Beretta» weapon factory. The idea originated last summer when 15 scouts from Gardone came to our place to participate in a volunteer camp, and as usual we organized humanitarian activities, spent time talking with them and showing them photos of our projects. There among the photos were those of «What everybody needs is love», painted on a few central walls in Mostar, Rijeka and 3 towns in Italy. It would be a perfect message for their town, the scouts from Gardone concluded, to make passers-by reflect on a message of peace in these troubled times. And after all, what better place for the picture than the big empty wall on the opposite side of the weapon factory!

The time of painting itself was an illustration of the mural itself – while working on the wall we met and befriended people of colorful nationalities: Italian, Croatian, Bosnian and even Senegalese… The finished mural in Gardone is 56 m2 large, and is situated in clear view of the busy street below, where approximately 25 000 cars drive by each day!
Mural nr. 7 was painted in the center of Rijeka during the second week of July. Again, a group of young people (friends from Rijeka and some foreign volunteers) joined efforts with us to complete the project. Many who saw the picture on photos or in reality have already asked us to paint it in other places throughout Croatia and Italy.

Val Trompia June 2006

Rijeka Korzo (walking street)

Smile Therapy

Project Duration: throughout 2005

Approximate Man-Hours Spent on this Project: 620

We visited and conducted this project of clown therapy in 6 different institutions and hospitals once a week (one institution per week) throughout the whole year, or 52 times.

Our project was featured in local newspaper “Novi list”, July 8th 2005, reaching an estimated audience of 30 000, and 2 times in “La voce del’ popolo” – May 17th and June 21st 2005, both times reaching an estimated audience of 3000.

We started this project inspired by the movie “Patch Adams” a couple of years ago, and throughout the last year it has been growing, with more people being involved in it than ever. The project consists of visiting patients in a hospital, or children in an institution, or old people in a senior citizens’ home, and spending time cheering them up as clowns, as well as talking and counseling them. We’ve had amazing reactions from the patients, as well as doctors, who all are of the opinion that this simple project improves the general state of physical and psychological health of the patients. The main hospital in our city, KBC – Rijeka, is conducting a poll on the reactions of the staff and patients to “clown therapy” and so far the results have been more positive than expected.

This is also a project in which we involve young people who want to have an experience in volunteering and helping others. Following is an excerpt of an article written by one of our friends who participated in the project:

“After the little show for those who are able to walk, the clowns visit the bed-ridden in their rooms. And then again, after the initial hesitation the heavenly blessing melts all hearts and moves forward. The hugs, happiness and music of the clowns soften all hearts, and the suffering transforms itself into zest for life and fight against ill-health. “Please, stay a little longer!” is the most common reaction we hear, but then they let us go because they know that there are more patients eagerly awaiting our visit and special “treatment”. “The laughter therapy” slowly makes its way even through suffering, crosses barriers of scepticism and gradually the realization sets in that where there is pain and illness, there is a need even greater than the need for medicine.”

KBC hospital, Rijeka

Entertainment with Meaning

Approximate Man-Hours Spent on this Project: 2040

We performed meaningful programs more than 70 times for various institutions, ranging from schools, kindergardens and orphanages to senior citizens’ homes, refugee camps and handicapped centers.

We received 1 letter of thanks for our contributions from the following organization: Udruga Invalida – Pozega, Croatia (Association for the Handicapped – Pozega), and many handicrafts made by the beneficiaries of the various handicapped centers and schools we visited. 

Our shows make up a big part of the projects we are involved in, and are done not only during a particular period of the year like Christmas time, but also throughout the whole year, reaching various audiences of younger and older attendees with the message of God’s love, and of helping others in need instead of concentrating on one’s only misfortunes in life. Many times we have witnessed incredible effects of our shows, like the one time when we performed in a psychiatric hospital: a depressed patient there who had been a hopeless case for two years smiled for the first time, and soon afterwards improved so much that he was released from the institution! 

We have performed for children, parents, students, hospital patients and doctors, senior citizens and anyone who would request our presence. We are well-known in our area for the many programs that we’ve done, and receive many phonecalls requesting for our shows both in Rijeka where we live, and in the surrounding towns as far as 500 km away. Only at Christmas we perform more than 40 times, dividing our man-power into two show troupes in order to visit more institutions than we could with only one team. 

Youth Counselling

Project Duration: May, August & October 2005 

Approximate Man-Hours Spent on this Project: 540

We performed shows and concerts with a message against drug abuse and other vices, and of finding meaning to one’s life by helping others during those three months of 2005. We visited 10 different schools and institutions, and performed for approximately 1000 adolescents.

Our project was featured in national newspaper “Vecernji list”, May 25th 2005, reaching an estimated audience of 1 000 000, and in local newspaper “La voce del’ popolo”, July 21st 2005, reaching an estimated audience of 3000.

In February this year our colleague Niki Frangov, with a few other young members of our community started a band. Their purpose was to reach young people with the message of God’s love, warn them against the dangers of drugs and other vices, and give them a real purpose for living which is found in helping others in need. Our colleage Niki Frangov passed away of heart failure on May 8th, but his fellow band-members decided not to give up on the band, but rather to dedicate its future to their unforgettable co-worker. And so «Hole Truth» made its first steps on stage soon afterwards, on May 22nd, when we were invited to attend and perform at the gathering of handicapped people from all of Croatia and in other schools in Pozega (in the northern part of the country). During the 4 days we spent there we performed for all the elementary and high schools in Pozega, two elementary schools in the surrounding villages and one senior citizens’ home. It was a memorable time – our first visit to Slavonia – so impressive that we plan to visit and organize more activities there in the near future.

Later on, in August and October, we held more concerts for young people in a few institutions in Rijeka – a delinquent home, an orphanage, two student dorms and a few more schools. The student dorms invited us to continue our project of counseling the young people by starting a discussion club, which we are planning for the months of January – April 2006. 



Summer camps & visits of young volunteers

Project Duration: July & August 2005

Approximate Man-Hours Spent on this Project: 2500

We held 2 volunteer training camps for 20 attendees during the months of July and August. Each of the camps lasted one week. During this time we visited 5 institutions (a center for abused mothers, a refugee camp, senior citizens’ homes…) and numerous underpriveleged families in the refugee area of Karlovac and Vojnic, as well as in the surroundings of Rijeka. Throughout the whole summer we also received more than 100 visitors who all stayed at our volunteer center at least overnight or for a few days, with the goal of learning what volunteer work and communal living were all about. 

Our project was featured in local newspaper “La voce del’ popolo”, July 21st 2005, reaching an estimated audience of 3000.

Every summer during the last 5 years the doors of our center have been open to anyone who wants to learn more about volunteer work or living in a Christian community. We’ve had visits from many young and older people, about 100 or more throughout each summer. They come to have an “alternative vacation” – willing to combine their yearly holiday with donating their energies to a worthy cause. During this time they join effors with us in our volunteer projects, and receive training which they are later able to use in their own environment. Following are a few comments from young volunteer “clowns”, attendees of one of the camps we held this summer:

“Thank you for this experience which made me feel more alive than ever… it’s a never-ending feeling of joy that I can hardly describe in words. I love you” (Fausto “Zoletta”, Brescia)

“This is the first time in my life when I not only saw the word “love” being spoken, but when I felt it as an integral part of this community. Thank you for your wonderful witness of the real love and light of His words. You are always in our hearts. Pray for us” (Gianni & Tiziana, Torino)

“Our hearts and spiritis are overflowing with the joy of this wonderful experience. We’re going back home ‘transformed’” (Michele and Patrizia, Varese)

”Tonight I felt so excited, happy and… peaceful. The air I breathed in this house was one of unbelievable happiness and peace. Those were beautiful moments of living in smiles, hugs and laughter.” (Michela, Brescia)

Karlovac refugee camp